Friday, July 8, 2011

Storms of Life

When the summer storms descended upon our small mountain town earlier this week, we rejoiced. Rain is a rare commodity in Southern California, and we look forward to our summer storms with unparalleled anticipation.

When the storm clouds folded atop one another after lunch, Keith peered at the darkening skies and decided to work from home for the remainder of the day so that he wouldn't miss the spectacle.

And what a spectacle it was...for us Californians at least. Those of you who live where summer storms are an ordinary occurrence do not realize the joy we desert-dwellers find in a simple summer storm.

The flashes of lightning, the roars of thunder, the winds whipping tree branches this way and that, the sheeting rain, and even the occasional bloom of hailstones--these events occur once or twice per year here in San Diego County, albeit a little more commonly in our mountains.

Really, it's akin to a fireworks display--a free one, courtesy of Mama Nature.

We thrill to each rumble and roar and flash the way kids hype themselves up for a trip to Disneyland. Everything in our household stops, and we gather on the porch to watch the large drops cascade down the roof, puddling in our front yard, watching with wide eyes and ooohing and aaahing over each flash from sky and rumble that shakes the porch boards under our feet.

After the first thrill waned and the kids returned to their common activities, Keith and I curled up on the wicker sofa on the porch, shoulder to shoulder, and watched the rain and the flashes of lightning in silence.

It's the kind of comfortable silence borne of over a quarter of a century of marriage...almost sixty percent of my life. We did chat a little about his almost-completed stained glass window, about the newest handyman job he's doing, about the kids and their quirks and habits and plans for future.

But in the lulls between the conversation settled the comfort of his arm resting behind my shoulders along the top of the sofa, of our bodies turned toward one another. It's the same comfort as his casual touch on my hair as he walks behind my chair in the kitchen, or my ruffling his gray head as I move behind his desk chair.

So we find comfort in one another while skies darken and winds buffet and rains sheet and thunder crashes.

And we know that the comfort we give one another through the storms has a Source beyond us.

Comfort in the storms--isn't that how life should be?

"Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the Lord has comforted his people and will have compassion on his afflicted." --Isaiah 49:13, ESV

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort." --2 Corinthians 1:3-7, ESV

Seeking and finding God's comfort in the storms of life,

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